I heard a BBC interview yesterday in which a member of Hamas, a PhD, was comparing what is going on in Gaza to having two children locked in a room with nothing but a small piece of bread - what else could they do but begin to fight over the bread? This is obvious. Eventually they will figure out that they can share. Like the two children in the story, we must give residents of Gaza time to sort things out.
My parents, both Holocaust survivors, were locked in bunkers with five people per sleeping board and not even a crust to share among them. They never did what those two fictional children locked in a room see as the only thing to do. Throughout the millennia, Jews have been locked in ghettos and oppressed with hardly a slice of bread between them, and they too used sticks and stones. They used them to scratch letters on the floor to teach their children to read. They took that crust and found a seed on top that they could plant to grow more wheat. Did you ever hear the old Jewish tale, "Something From Nothing"?
To the Hamas PhD it is obvious that when two children with nothing but a small piece of bread are locked in a room, they will fight. And so the population in Hamastan fights. And when they run out of enemies to fight, they fight each other.
To Jews it is obvious that when two children with nothing but a piece of bread are locked in a room, they will ration the bread until they figure out how to get more bread or get out of the locked room.
To the members of Hamastan, it is obvious that when you are left with the hothouses abandoned by your enemies, you break it apart and loot and destroy it to show your frustration with your situation and erase anything that reminds you of your enemies.
To the Jews it is obvious that when you find parts and broken pieces, you try to fix them or use them to build something useful.
To the members of Hamastan, it is obvious that when you have a small, crowded, barren piece of land with nothing to recommend it, you fight until the world recognizes your plight. You bravely sacrifice lives to destroy the neighboring enemies to make room to expand into their land and their homes.
To Jews it is obvious that if all you have is a small, crowded, barren piece of land, you drain the swamps and make the desert bloom, sometimes sacrificing lives to help build a future.
To the members of Hamstan it is obvious that if you manage to get hold of resources or money, you use them to bolster your leaders and buy weapons to fight your enemies.
To Jews, it is obvious that if you manage to get hold of resources or money, you feed your children, build hospitals and schools, then businesses that can generate more resources and money.
One of us ended up with a country that in 60 years' time rivals countries many-fold its size and many times its age.
One of us ended up with nothing but fear and destruction, and blaming everyone else but themselves for their situation.
Which type of people would you rather have as a neighbor and a partner in this world?
~ Tzirel Shaffren
Friday, June 29, 2007
It Is Obvious
I received an e-mail from my cousin, forwarding me a letter she received that was originally written by a woman who currently lives in Israel. I thought it was incredible, and received permission from the original author to post it in its entirety here. Feel free to express your thoughts on the letter in the comments.